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Vengeance Belongs to God

(The following is the December 22 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Revelation 16 and pay close attention to verses 4-7.)


Most people suffer injustice inflicted by others at some point. Whether a random event by someone we don’t know or intentional harm from someone opposed to us, we may bear physical or emotional scars from such acts. This is unfortunate, and our hearts cry for justice. Sinful human nature wants to get even when others harm us, but when taken into one’s own hands, it looks less like justice and more like vengeance. Vengeance belongs to God (Deut. 32:35), so we do well to leave such matters to him.


Christians can take comfort that God will execute justice and avenge all wrong done to his children. In Revelation 16, an angel pours out God’s wrath against evildoers who shed the innocent blood of God’s people: “The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. I heard the angel of the waters say, You are just, the Holy One, who is and who was, because you have passed judgment on these things. Because they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, you have given them blood to drink; they deserve it! I heard the altar say, Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and just are your judgments” (vv. 4-7).


There is no greater crime against another person than taking innocent life. Evil people martyr Christians worldwide as they have done since the first century. Such martyrdom will continue and increase as present humankind approaches its climactic close. But God’s children must respond with continued faithfulness, risking this ultimate act by the godless as a temporary consequence of our faith.


We can rejoice that God will have the final word in his perfect time, and his judgments are true and just.


Next Step:

What actions have you taken or wanted to take in response to someone harming you? How hard is it to leave justice in the hands of God or civil authorities? Pray that God increases your trust in his justice.

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